One of our family’s favorite things about Carlton Landing is the community garden. Our boys love to grab their bikes and head over for exploration, vegetable picking and chicken watching. They like to call it the Farmer’s Market. I love their name for it because that sweet little garden space really does represent the heart of Carlton Landing: community. If you’re in need of some herbs or a tomato for your dinner, just go and grab some. It’s there for everyone to enjoy!
And speaking of tomatoes, I love tomatoes. I am not a great gardener, although in my head I like to think I am, but tomatoes are the one thing I have managed to consistently grow each year. They take little work, yield lots of delicious produce, and they can be used in so many ways from salads, to salsas, to pasta sauces.
But one of my most recent discoveries is tomato pie because those slightly sweet and juicy tomatoes get to be the star of the show in one of my most favorite foods: pie. And who doesn’t want to eat pie for dinner?
This tomato pie with a parmesan buttermilk crust is such a wonderful summer dinner. It takes some work and preparation, but it is worth the effort. If you’re wanting the creamy tomato filling but want to save time, feel free to use a store-bought pie dough. But follow the recipe to blind bake the crust prior to putting in the filling so you can avoid the crust getting soggy as it bakes.
This tomato pie resembles a quiche in some ways, but it is less dense and incredibly flavorful. The tomatoes have a somewhat caramelized flavor when you pre-bake and dehydrate them in the oven. Grab your friends and family for a dinner outside, and try out this fun spin on tomatoes before the summer season ends.
Tomato Pie with a Parmesan Buttermilk Crust
Parmesan Buttermilk Crust
- 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese*
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- ¾ cup cold unsalted butter cubed
- ¼ cup cold, solid vegetable shortening** cubed
- 6 Tbsp. buttermilk
- 3 lb. various heirloom tomatoes medium to large
- 1 tsp. salt divided
- 6 thick-cut bacon slices diced
- 2 large shallots*** chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves chopped
- 6 oz. extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese grated
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup fresh basil chopped
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard smooth
- 1 large egg
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- Pulse flour, cheese, salt, and black pepper in a food processor until combined, about 3 good pulses. Add the cold butter and vegetable shortening and pulse until butter and shortening are pea-size pieces. Drizzle in buttermilk and pulse the dough until it just begins to come together. Lightly knead dough into a ball on a large piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk shape. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll dough out on a floured surface into a 15 to 16-inch circle, or enough to cover your pie dish with overhang and about ⅓-inch thick. Trasfer to a pie dish. Trim edges, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold edges under and crimp. Freeze dough 20 minutes. Line piecrust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake crust for 20 minutes. Remove parchment and weights and bake until edges are golden and bottom of crust is set, about 8 minutes. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut tomatoes into ½-inch-thick slices. Place about 7 - 10 slices (depending on size of tomatoes but enough to cover top of pie) on a baking sheet lined with paper towels, and sprinkle with ¼ tsp. of the salt. Cover with additional paper towels and reserve.
- Arrange remaining tomatoes in a single layer on a lightly greased wire rack on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with ½ tsp. of the salt. Bake in the oven until wilted and slightly dried out about, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
- While cooling, cook bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until fat is beginning to render about 4 to 5 minutes. Add chopped shallots and cook until bacon is crisp and shallots are carmelized about, 6 to 7 more minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. You do not want the garlic to burn. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon mixture to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Cool for 20 minutes.
- Stir together cheese, mayonnaise, basil, Dijon mustard, and egg until combined. Sprinkle with pepper and remaining ¼ tsp. salt. Fold in bacon mixture.
- Gently spread a third of cheese mixture onto the parmesan-buttermilk crust. Layer with half of the roasted tomato slices in a slightly overlapping pattern. Spread another third of cheese mixture on top of tomato slices. Repeat with remaining roasted tomato slices and cheese mixture. Top with reserved sliced fresh tomatoes, pressing filling gently into crust. Cover edges of pie with aluminum foil to keep from burning.
- Bake in the oven at 400°F until filling is set, about 40-45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let stand for 1 hour before serving. For added flavor, feel free to sprinkle freshly chopped basil on top before eating. Enjoy!